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AGC Glass Europe Headquarters

Samyn and Partners Architects & Engineers

AGC Glass Europe Headquarters
By Caterina Testa -

The new headquarters of AGC, one of Europe’s major flat glass manufacturers, is situated in the densely urbanized and interconnected area of Louvain-la-Neuve, south of Brussels.
Designers Samyn and Partners are no strangers to either the area or AGC. In the 1970s they were directly involved in the design of the new town, and have worked with AGC on researching glass façade solutions.
The new headquarters comprises an 83 m raised square slab supported by a regular grid of columns. The interiors have been laid out according to three requirements: efficient distribution, compactness to ensure maximum energy savings, and natural daylighting of every workstation.
The two storeys suspended over the ground floor parking area are divided into four functional areas. To the west, open-space offices are illuminated by three exterior patios stretching the breadth of the building. To the east, the kitchens and canteen on the first floor, and the large conference and meeting rooms on the second floor all receive daylight from three patios recessed into the façade.
A gallery illuminated by skylights runs the length of the building on a north-south axis. Giving access to a series of smaller rooms aligned along it, this large corridor is the major distribution pathway and socialization point.
The double-skin façade is made entirely of AGC glass. The inner skin comprises extra-clear glass with a super-insulating coating. Operable sun-shading louvers form the outer envelope. The glass slats have an alternating pattern of white screen-printed strips. Mounted vertically on the south and north façades and horizontally on the east and west sides, the louvers move automatically with the sun to protect occupants from direct sunlight. Design and technology maximize the amount of natural light penetrating the building and reduce artificial illumination requirements. The use of low-transmittance glass also minimizes heat loss....

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